The Ultimate Guide to Dental Implant Cost
How much are dental implants?
If you've ever had a question about dental implant prices, you're not alone. Inquiries about the price of dental implants is one of the most common questions the Medigo Care Team receives.
Even in the internet age, it's a very difficult task to compare prices for dental implants, or to give a good estimate for the average cost of dental implants.
Many patients seeking a price estimate don't know whether to look for a price per tooth, or if the cost they're looking at includes the implant, abutment, and crown.
What is the average cost of dental implants?
The average cost of a full dental implant in the United States is around $5,000. That is the out-of-pocket cost for the implant itself, the abutment, the crown, and the surgery.
In the UK, the average out-of-pocket price is about £2,700 (USD 3,250), although implants can sometimes be covered by the NHS (see below).
In Australia, the same dental implant will cost about AUD 2,100 (USD 1,450).
Abroad, the prices for dental implants still vary pretty widely. Part of the reason is that some clinics will offer the price for the full procedure and all of the hardware, while some will only offer a quote for placing the implant itself (which we'll get into later).
Getting dental implants abroad can save you:
- 80% of the price in the US
- 70% of the price in the UK
- 33% of the price in Australia
Where are the best deals on dental implants?
Dental implants are one of the most common procedures patients travel to a different country to receive. Implants are extremely popular because they're considered a better option than veneers or crowns, but in many countries the cost of surgery is very high. So many clinics overseas offer this treatment and cater specifically to international patients.
There are also many dentists abroad that specialize in dental implant surgery.
Note that the prices provided below are for a single dental implant, abutment, crown, and the surgery to place it. For more than one implant, you can usually negotiate a discount.
The price of dental implants around the world
The cost of a dental implant varies from country to country.
Dental implants tend to be cheapest in Hungary, where an average price for the dental implant, abutment and crown is (USD) $1,070. In Mexico, the same procedure would be $1,430, and in Thailand it would cost $1,810.
The average cost of a dental implant (including abutment and crown) in Mexico is around $1,430, but this can vary depending on location.
Los Algodones, also known by many American citizens as "Molar City" because it has so many dentists, is the most affordable place in Mexico to get a dental implant. The procedure costs about $1,365.
In Tijuana, on the US/Mexico border, the cost is more in the range of $1,475, and in Cancun, the price is around $1,560.
Thailand attracts people from all over the world looking for affordable dental care. Good quality dental care can be found in all of Thailand's most popular vacation spots.
Many Australians think Thailand is significantly cheaper than Australia for dental implants, but this is only the case if you need multiple implants. Otherwise, once you factor in the flight & hotel costs, it may even be more expensive.
In Bangkok, the cost of a dental implant averages around $1,500, and the price tends to be the same in Chiang Mai. In Phuket, most dentists perform the procedure for around $1,900.
Hungary is a popular destination for British, Irish, Scandinavian, and French patients looking to save on dental implants.
In recent years, more and more Americans have combined a trip to Europe with dental work in Hungary, like John from Arizona.
Most dentists are based in the capital city of Budapest, where a dental implant with abutment and crown can found for $1,070.
All-on-4 dental implants
The Nobel Biocare All-on-4 dental implant is an option for patients who need a whole upper or lower set of teeth replaced.
It's also the only real solution for edentulous patients (people with no functioning teeth). The procedure is a relatively new technique in dentistry and was developed by Nobel Biocare.
By using just four dental implants instead of one implant per tooth, the procedure is minimally invasive and can replace an entire set of teeth without the need for repeat surgical visits.
The procedure creates a permanent prosthesis by using 4 dental implants which act as an anchor for a bridge of 12-to-14 teeth.
All-on-4 implants can replace both damaged and missing teeth and provide a long-term, permanent alternative to dentures.
Four screws are placed into the jaw bone and gums and left to heal sufficiently, before the implant bridge can be secured in place. Once implanted, the bridge will never need to be removed and will resemble the appearance of your natural teeth
Cost of All-on-4
An All-on-4 can be an expensive procedure, but it's worth remembering that it is a permanent solution which can last a lifetime.
Removable dentures require a lot of maintenance and usually have a lifespan of no more than 10 years and require follow-up treatment.
On the other hand, a study conducted by Nobel Biocare shows that their All-on-4 implants have a 10-year survival rate of 93.4%. An All-on-4 patient might never need to visit the dentist again if they maintain good oral hygiene.
You might save money in the short-term by choosing a removal denture over an all-on-4, but the long-term costs could be significantly higher. You're making an investment in your future oral health, so don't be put off by the high price tag.
The average cost of All-on-4 in the United States is around $26,000.
All-on-4 in Mexico
All-on-4 procedures are very common in Mexico, but it can be difficult to find the best dentist at the most accessible prices. Here are Medigo's picks for some of the best clinics to get an All-on-4 in Mexico.
Dental Solutions Los Algodones – $8,900
Bokanova Dental Center – $8,000
My Dental Brush Tijuana – $5,880
Why do dental implants cost so much?
The implant you are purchasing is made up of three parts: the implant itself, the crown, and the abutment (which attaches the crown to the implant).
In many cases, the price a clinic shows you is only the price for the implant which screws into the bone, and doesn't include the abutment and the crown.
Make sure you ask for the price for the whole deal, including the surgery, anesthesia, anesthesiologist, and any other fees involved in the surgery.
What should be included in the price?
The initial consultation is extremely important. Much of the planning for the rest of the treatment will be done during this phase.
The dentist will also assess the health of the teeth and jaw bone, which is an important element of the treatment. When implants fail, it is usually because a critical element was missed in the planning phase.
To save money, it's likely you'll be able to combine the initial consultation with the first part of the treatment. Be aware that you will definitely need diagnostic imaging in this visit (likely a panoramic X-ray), which may result in an additional cost.
X-rays are absolutely necessary for this procedure, and you may not want to trust a professional who will do an implant without them.
How many appointments are needed?
There are usually two appointments involved in placing dental implants; one to place the implant and then, after a healing period of about 3-to-6 months, another to place the abutment and crown.
Some dentists use "immediate-load" implants that can have a temporary crown placed immediately after the implant is inserted. You will still need a second appointment for the permanent crown.
In some cases, an additional appointment is needed to adjust the implant after the permanent crown is placed.
You are also paying for specialist care. Dental implants fall into the category of restoration dentistry and have their own category of implantology.
Implant surgery can be done by a periodontist, an oral surgeon, or a dentist with advanced training in implantology. Because of the specialist training necessary to perform the procedure, the dental professional involved may charge a higher fee than for other services.
Is it performed under general or local anesthesia?
Some dentists will require that the patient undergo general anesthesia during the procedure, meaning the patient is asleep for the whole procedure.
This is more expensive and requires an anesthesiologist to be present for the entire surgery. Some dentists think this is unnecessary and will perform the procedure using a local anesthetic, meaning the areas they are working on are numbed but the patient is awake.
Some patients might be too nervous during the procedure if they are awake, and if this is a problem you should consider asking for a sedative to ease your anxiety if you'll be under local anesthetic.
Will I need a bone graft?
Patients who have lost a lot of bone may also require bone grafts. Bone grafts are performed in a separate procedure, several months before the implant is placed, and will require several months to heal and for the graft to fuse into the regular bone.
This extra procedure will, of course, mean additional costs. This also means you won't be able to have the procedure done in one trip, since the graft will take time to grow into the bone and you need to allow tissues to heal.
Although advancements in technology mean implants can be done with less bone than before, poor osseointegration (meaning the implant didn't fuse into the bone very well) is one of the main causes of dental implant failure, so if it is recommended it's an important step to take.
Otherwise, you'll probably have to pay to have the implant removed, a graft done, and then the implant redone.
Also, if there is significant periodontal disease (disease in the gums or other soft tissues of the mouth), they will need to be completely treated before surgery.
Abroad, periodontal treatment can cost from USD 55 up to several hundred dollars, depending on how advanced the disease is. This will also result in delays to the procedure as the affected areas heal.
Dental implant cost breakdown in the USA
The average cost of an uncomplicated dental implant procedure in the USA breaks down like this:
- The implant itself costs between $1,600 and $2,000
- The abutment (that screws into the implant) costs between $275 and $450.
- This will cost $100-200 more if it must be custom-made (as is the case sometimes with front teeth)
- The crown (attached to the abutment) can cost anywhere from $1,000 up to $3,000
- Surgeon and facility fees average from $500 at a dental school up to $2,000 for a highly experienced surgeon and state-of-the-art facilities
- There may be additional costs for other medical professionals, such as an anesthesiologist, that might need to be involved
- The cost of prescriptions, such as pain medication, and mouthwash varies widely
Dental implants are the Cadillacs of dental restoration. Dental restoration is exactly what it sounds like: the art and science of replacing damaged parts of the mouth.
This can involve anything from single teeth, as we are discussing here, to full-mouth restoration like the all-on-4 procedure (which is like a fleet of Cadillacs).
Dental implants are widely considered the best option for replacing teeth since they are the closest thing to natural teeth.
Manufacturers know that dental implants have become the standard of care for dental restoration and invest significant money into research and development for them. They also use high-quality materials, since dental implants are designed to be extremely durable and long-lasting. Therefore, implants can be quite expensive because they are the best treatment option.
Dental implants are reputed to be the most cost-effective option for dental restoration. Other options, such as a tooth-supported bridge, have a limited lifespan and must be replaced.
The American Dental Association reports that the average bridge must be replaced every 10.1 years. However, clinical studies have shown that implant-supported crowns (like we're discussing here) are effective at 20+ years in 95% of cases. This study shows a 98.8% 10-year survival rate of dental implants, which means the implants will almost certainly outlast bridges.
Other studies have shown the effectiveness of dental implants in the shorter term. This Swedish study showed a 98.2% survival rate of the implant over 32 months with the immediate-load implants.
Implants may be more expensive up-front, but over time their superior value and lifespan mean you'll save money in the long run.
How to save on dental implants
In general, you can reduce your travel costs by skipping the unnecessary luxuries. Some overseas clinics cater to more wealthy international patients and offer a lot of amenities that are nice, but there are much less expensive clinics that will offer a similar quality of care without a lot of extras.
The upside to shopping for your medical care is that you can choose what is important to you and try to reduce costs by cutting back on the frills.
Our advice: Don't try to save money by going to a lower-quality dental professional. You may regret looking for the "cheapest dental implants" as dentists with less experience and training inevitably charge lower fees. Plus, if something goes wrong with the implant, you'll have to pay another dentist to remove the implant, repair the damage, and then place a new implant.
Some clinics offer a guarantee or warranty on their work, but you will probably wind up paying more money fixing it than you would have paying for a more qualified dentist in the first place. Trust your instincts, and go with a professional you trust.
If you want to avoid a second trip for the permanent crown, you can try selecting a clinic that uses chair-side CAD/CAM (Computer Aided Design/Computer Aided Manufacturing). These systems allow the implantologist to scan your mouth and use a 3D printer to make the permanent implant in the office while you wait. These procedures can be completed in a single day in some cases, but may not be an option for all patients. Also, it will likely cost more than having a laboratory make the crown the regular way. You will save on travel expenses, though, which might make it worth it.
Reducing traveling expenses is probably the easiest way to save on dental tourism in general. There are a lot of free resources online that can help you save money on flights and accommodations. Services such as Expedia and Google Flights can help you save on travel costs by tracking and comparing the prices of different flights.
Traveling during peak season, usually near major holidays, is a lot more expensive than traveling during less popular times. You can also save on accommodation by using similar services for hotels.
Other cost factors
Discounts for multiple implants
Patients needing more than one tooth replaced can often negotiate a discount on additional implants after the first one. It's a good idea to do as many implants as possible at a time to avoid additional office visits, anyway.
Depending on the materials and brand names of the different parts of the implant, the price can vary significantly. Which materials can be used has a lot to do with your individual situation. For instance, patients who have lost a lot of bone in their jaw due to periodontal disease may need a different kind of screw for their implant than patients with more bone.
The materials used
The type of material used in the crown also makes a big difference. Crowns made of resin are the most affordable, but don't look nearly as natural as ceramic crowns or porcelain crowns. Porcelain and ceramic also tend to be stronger, which is another reason they're preferred for visible teeth. Resin crowns are also much less durable and will need to be replaced much sooner than other materials.
Which teeth are being replaced also influences the cost of treatment. Front teeth are much harder for the surgeon to work on and require more skill to make the implant look like a natural tooth. As a rule, visible teeth tend to be more expensive, and the surgery tends to be longer. The abutment for these implants is also more expensive. If you're having front teeth replaced, you may want to choose a professional that specializes in aesthetics. If you cannot afford a porcelain crown and don't mind having to replace the crown sooner, crowns made of resin are much cheaper than ceramic or porcelain ones.
You may want to discuss using cheaper materials with your dental professional first. Be aware that cheaper materials are usually of a lower quality and (in rare cases) may result in complications in the future. Ask your professional if it's possible to reduce the cost using other materials and what their success rate is.
The medical professionals
The fees for all of the medical professionals will make a big difference to the final cost. If you will be sedated during the procedure, an anesthesiologist will need to be present and this will result in an additional cost. You should find out if more than one specialist will need to be involved and what this will cost. If your dentist will perform the procedure using local anesthetic, you can avoid the extra cost. Finally, your general health and how complicated the surgery will be is another important consideration. Professionals will typically charge higher fees if there are other medical complications they need to worry about, such as high blood pressure or diabetes.
If you're interested in traveling for medical treatment, visit medigo.com.